First documented green sea turtle nest in Biscayne Natl. Park

'They're just so cute," biologist says

BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK, Fla. – Wildlife Biologists recently released 66 Green Sea Turtle hatchlings into the blue waters of the Atlantic off Elliot Key in Biscayne National Park.  Turtle watchers at the park usually see loggerheads. 

"To all of a sudden just have a random Green Sea Turtle show up was very interesting," said Vanessa McDonough, a Fish and Wildlife Biologist.

McDonough found the nest about two weeks ago on her morning patrol along the beach. 

At first, she wasn't sure what kind of a nest it was, but flipped when she saw little flippers.  "

"Sea turtles return to the beach from which they hatched to nest.  We're not really sure why this Green Sea Turtle would have chosen to come to this beach because we don't have any evidence it would have come from a nest on our beaches," McDonough said. 

She waited for more eggs to hatch and then gathered the 3-inch turtles up, before taking them safely out to sea for their first swim. 

"I think as a biologist -- or just as anyone -- that's such a cool video," she said. "It's so interesting to see these creatures that the first time they hit the water they know what to do.  I can't help but get excited about that and they're just cute too so.  What's not to like about a baby sea turtle?"

The mama green turtle may come back to drop more eggs. Female turtles can nest multiple times, and hatchlings can be found as late as October.